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Large data archiving system for the small business

Posted on 2012-03-21
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Last Modified: 2012-07-30
We need to put together a plan for a large data storage system that will grow to 10 - 15 TB in 12 months. We could go Windows, but I'm checking with the Mac heads out there, because the environment is all Mac. I'm looking for answers from people who have actually tied Ultrium drives to Mac Pros, and for RAID suggestions.

The server will be accessed by 35 users, but only 4 of these will be heavy users.

We presently have a nearly 3-year-old Xserve and a DroboPro. I'm not going to publicly knock the Drobo but I cannot rely on it for primary data storage.


I'm thinking something like this:

- new Mac Pro, 24 GB RAM
- Mac OS Lion Server on RAID 1, with a third clone updated every few months
- Ultrium tape drive or jukebox
- Primary RAID -- something awesome, connected over a fast interface
- Secondary RAID (duping primary nightly) -- DroboPro attached via FW800

Questions:
- RAID 1 suggestions? Just use the built-in on the Mac Pro?

- What kind of Primary RAID? Fiber? I've used Rorke Data products in the past and they work great -- any other suggestions?

- What kind of interface for the Ultrium tape drive? Fiber again? I don't want to go to the mat with the interface/tape drive hassles on Lion.

- Anyone ever used an Ultrium jukebox? Any recommendations?

- Could we get away with running a 30 GB Filemaker Pro database on this box at the same time?
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Question by:d4nnyo
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Will Loving earned 2000 total points
ID: 37750091
I can only comment on the FileMaker database part of things. To my knowledge, the largest factor related to FileMaker speed - once you've taken care of meeting the basic system requirements which this obviously does - is HD speed. A database is constantly writing and and re-writing so a fast hard drive is important to speed.

One thing I would question is the structure of your database. The active, changing part of most databases is relatively small. I'm guessing you have large amount of stored files in container fields, images, documents, etc. If that part of the database is relatively static, then it may well make sense - if this is not already the case - to have it in a separate file (or files even) and or to use "Store as reference only" to reduce the amount of data that is getting constantly re-written to disk as the contents of the database is changed.
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by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 37763292
What is your DR strategy? What is your RTO and RPO, what kind of budget do you have?
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by:d4nnyo
ID: 37764091
DR strategy is basically outlined above, but I'll clarify it further:

- Boot volume on RAID1
- Boot volume also cloned now and then
- 12 TB primary RAID
- 12 TB backup RAID copied nightly
- Ultrium tape drive for offsite archiving

Budget is not so important. They have a need for massive data warehousing and it has to be speedy.

I'm also considering running NAS RAID 5 with USB HD backup and tape backup, but I'm concerned about performance, both for the workgroup and for warehousing the whole thing on tape.
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